THE BLACK WOMEN’S AGENDA, INC. HOSTS ITS 45TH ANNUAL SYMPOSIUM TOWN HALL & AWARDS LUNCHEON

US representative James ClyburnValdez Demings and Benny Thompson Among the award winners 2022

The Town Hall Forum promotes economic empowerment, entrepreneurship and financial well-being

WASHINGTON, September 30, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Three years after their last in-person meeting, The Black Women’s Agenda, Inc. (BWA) today hosted its 45th Annual Symposium Town Hall & Awards Luncheon, once again gathering in the nation’s capital to celebrate achievements and to address the impact of inflation, health inequalities and attempts to restrict voting rights.

Jenifer Lewis, acclaimed actress and star of ABC TV's hit show

Jenifer Lewis, acclaimed actress and star of ABC TV’s hit show “Blackish,” celebrates achievement and activism at The Black Women’s Agenda, Inc. (BWA) 45th Annual Symposium Awards Luncheon on Friday, September 30, 2022 at the Waldorf Astoria Washington in Washington. (Paul Morigi/AP Images for Black Women’s Agenda, Inc.)

“Black women have historically moved the needle in recent years,” said BWA President Gwainevere Catchings Hess. “We have a seat at the table in the White House and on the Supreme Court. Those are huge gains, but record levels of inflation pose serious financial problems for African Americans. Issues related to health equity — being able to make our own choices about our bodies, maternal mortality and inequalities in care — continue to plague our communities, and our access to elections is under attack in some states. We’ve shown what we can do when we speak out, and now is the time to be proud and noisy.”

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More than 800 elected officials, business leaders, educators and journalists joined BWA leadership, National Collaborating Organizations and supporters to welcome this year’s honorees. The Honorable James E. Clyburn (D-SC), Majority Whip and third-ranking Democrat in the US House of Representatives, was honored with the BWA Keeper of the Dreams Award. Other honorees were:

  • President’s Prize: The Honorable Valdez V. DemingsUS Representative for Floridas 10th congressional district and nominee for US Senate

  • Profiles in the Courage Award: The Honorable Bennie G. ThompsonUS Representative for Mississippi 2nd congressional district and chairman of the House Committee investigating the attack on the US Capitol

  • Economy price: Adjoa B. Asamoah, Esi Eggleston BraceyOrlena Nwokah Blanchard, and Kelly Richardson Lawson, Creator of the CROWN Coalition (Creating A Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) and the inspiration behind The Crown Act – a law that made hair discrimination illegal in 14 states and 32 municipalities

  • Education price: Elsie L ScottPhD, Founding Director, Ronald W. Walters Leadership and Public Policy Center

  • health price: Vivian W PinnMD, Founding Director (retired), Office of Research on Women’s Health & Senior Scientist Emerita, National Institutes of Health

  • Lucinda Belin Scholarship Award: Gabrielle Anderson, entrepreneur and Harvard University student in the first year

  • Bright Futures price: Re’me’sh adamsAttorney Advisor, US Department of Justice

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Earlier in the day, BWA launched the first in a series of citizen forums dedicated to economic empowerment and entrepreneurship. Symone Sanders TownsendAuthor, political strategist, and host of MSNBC’s weekend talk show “Symone” moderated the discussion, which featured guest panelists: Gabrielle AndersonFounder of Graffiti By Gabby, a custom art company whose hand-painted sneakers are coveted by athletes, coaches and celebrities; Natalie Cofield, an entrepreneur, philanthropist and business activist; Senior Financial Correspondent for CNBC Sharon Epperson; Sophia Nelsonan award-winning author, journalist, and university scholar/adjunct professor, and Jenell R Ross, President of the Bob Ross Auto Group. During the program, panellists encouraged more than 300 participants to overcome economic obstacles by being constructive with money, adopting effective saving and investing strategies, and exploring opportunities for entrepreneurship. They also provided tips, resources, and information to help women and their families make important money decisions that will allow them to be financially prepared at all stages of life. The session was streamed on the organization’s YouTube channel, making it available to viewers worldwide.

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“For those who think the Black women’s agenda has been dormant for the past three years, be aware,” Catchings Hess told symposium attendees. “There’s a black woman who lives at the vice president’s mansion just a few miles from here, and a black woman sits on the nation’s highest court. The theme of this year’s symposium is Unapologetic Joy. We know who we are, we know what we want, and we are more than willing to make our voices heard, make our presence felt, and push for policies and opportunities that empower our families and communities to live their best lives .”

Established in 1977 Washington, D.C, The Black Women’s Agenda, Inc. is a 501(C)3 nonprofit organization that creates awareness and support for issues that secure, protect and advance the rights of Black women and their families. BWA is made up of 24 collaborative organizations – sororities, civic, service and faith-based – representing millions of women worldwide. Visit bwa-inc.org for more information.

U.S. Representative James E. Clyburn, Majority Whip and third-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives, accepts the Keeper of the Dreams Award from The Black Women's Agenda, Inc. (BWA) at the organization's 45th Annual Symposium Awards Luncheon Friday.  September 30, 2022 at the Waldorf Astoria Washington in Washington.  (Paul Morigi/AP Images for Black Women's Agenda, Inc.)

U.S. Representative James E. Clyburn, Majority Whip and third-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives, accepts the Keeper of the Dreams Award from The Black Women’s Agenda, Inc. (BWA) at the organization’s 45th Annual Symposium Awards Luncheon Friday. September 30, 2022 at the Waldorf Astoria Washington in Washington. (Paul Morigi/AP Images for Black Women’s Agenda, Inc.)

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SOURCE The Black Women’s Agenda, Inc.